George Marshall as a cadet
"The V.M.I. in my day was a pretty stern affair," recalled George Marshall. "Life was exceedingly austere. There were no delicacies . . . no arrangements practically to amuse the cadets." At best, Marshall was never more than an average student. Yet the rigors of cadet life motivated him to excel. After his first year, Marshall held the highest positions of authority available. As his responsibilities increased, he strove to exercise them in ways that did not create resentment. In later years, as Marshall climbed the army's chain of command, he was widely respected for his forthright leadership. Marshall was in his last year at VMI when this photograph was taken of him wearing his furlough uniform. He presented this picture to his sister Marie and signed it on the back: "with much love--from your brother George."

First Classman George C. Marshall
Michael Miley and Son, Lexington, VA
Albumen silver print,
14 x 9.8 cm. (5 1/2 x 3 7/8 in.), circa 1900
The George C. Marshall Foundation

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